Two Poems by Laura Blomvall

August 15, 2023

Portrait of Carlotta

I open the floorboards searching for Death.
There is no tilled path in the summer winds,
turnstile in the inevitabilities
of girlhood. My fingers meet dust, necklaces
and strange shadows with scuttling feet. I climbed
up the ladder to the attic and felt
Death’s hand snatch my ankle. ‘Why look for me?’
His voice is thick with dreams. I tick slipped forms
with ink that spills off-centre and close curtains
of McKittrick Hotel. That is how dirt congeals:
brick by brick, it takes down walls, foundations.
Futures scythe inside like a fever.

Futures scythe inside like a fever.
The bleeding petals have folded in tithed
gales—they have yielded, they have washed downstream.
I unscrew the nails from the beams. The roof
sways like hay, hoards its sheltering legs,
feathers of mangled wrens falling from eaves.
Death is all white and light, a cloud entering.
He lifts me, or I lift him—in mimicry.
‘You were a question mark swerving off the road.’
There is no tilled path in the summer winds.
I open the floorboards searching for Death.

BIBI’S BAR. NIGHT.

After Blade Runner 2049 (2019)
‘Wanna buy a lady her next cigarette?’
To lean against the door, idle in rain,
is to advertise a service: a chance
to be in sync, off-worldly repertoire
of love, his I to her firewalled Thou.
The three of them glitch in towering heels
towards his trench coat, soaked with noir, crowd
him with ‘Hello, A-boy, all alone?’, brush
his epaulette. Nails pressed against clear Perspex,
they find him past neon signs, pixelated
feet en pointe to Tchaikovsky, hyperreal in
thin film of rain. The clouds beat the streets blue
with their drained archive, ones and zeros empty
their inner screens. From any entry sign—
even a drop of lack touching an eardrum—
eyes flicker. To save thee. And so on. Or,
I would fain know herself from the blame of
all my dreams. (‘Slot a new coin in the machine.’)
The agent shades her eyes from shame of storms.
We’re all here to learn how to control light,
how to shift it in columns—‘The man wearing
the green jacket’, she says. ‘The one who killed
Sapper. Find out what he knows.’ Doxie #2’s
eyelashes motion left and right, umbrella’s
ribs wind-bent sideways. ‘Jätkä on blade runner.
Se on vitun vaarallinen.’ Like black
tires splashing water from the full gutters
of an open heart, her pursed mouth, her Finno-
Ugric rubrics u-turn frail, futuristic.
He could un-strike her match, had he at hand
her flame. HOT / ГОРЯЧИЙ dissolve in odd
angles of rain. They move the dark with letters.

About Laura Blomvall

Laura Blomvall is a Finnish writer who grew up in Belgium and now lives in Bristol, UK. Her previous poems have appeared in The Poetry Review and Propel Magazine. Her essays have been published by Cambridge University Press, Journal of Modern Literature, Edinburgh University Press, and others.

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